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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Perspective on the Buyer's Journey

Most sales agents know, when talking to a potential customer, they should be interacting from the perspective of the "buyer's journey," rather than a "by the rules" sales process.

Not everyone, however, has an understanding of how purchase decisions are made durin that "journey" and how creative sales/marketing tools are available to facilitate that decision making process.
CPS SalesTouch: an interactive, visual sales tool

To better understand the psychology behind why people buy, Gareth Goh at Insight Squared suggests several ideas that we related to CPS sales/marketing products:
  • Buyers respond psychologically to visual elements and stories: We've talked about it previously; buyers (particularly women involved in new home purchases) are drawn by stories as they picture themselves experiencing similar events. And, while facts and figures are important, the buyer's purchase process is facilitated by images. Take a look at the SalesTouch system displayed above; can't you imagine being part of that cheering Rodeo crowd or taking a walk along the trail?
  • Buyers crave value: Buyers are motivated by the thought that they are receiving as much value as possible.  Value isn't a fixed dollar amount, however -- it is a relative assessment. Why not highlight community amenities, neighborhood "hot spots", schools in the area through an interactive exploration to increase your community's value?  Your buyers will keep peeling the onion to find out more and, as a result of their exploration, obtain additional value.
Selling skills and processes are key to being a successful sales agent -- but so is having an understanding of what motivates buyers and having tools on hand to develop that process.

Interested in learning more about adding visual elements, stories and a value proposition to your sales office experience? Contact CPS for SalesTouch details.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Millennials ... An Aspirational Demographic

Millennials -- those born in the 20-year span between 1977 and 1996, 87 million strong.  Sometimes called Generation Y, this demographic group is now between 19 and 38 -- and many are just starting the process known as household formation.

Social Media Wall: integrating traditional marketing & social media
You would think that is all good for the real estate and home building industries! Unfortunately, the recent business slowdown particularly impacted this group in terms of unemployment, "career" jobs and wages -- so their entry into a homebuying mode has been delayed. However, Millennials are a confident, resilient and patient demographic according to CEL & Associates.

In only 5 more years, Millennials will compose nearly 50% of the workforce -- and be an increasingly market influence.

CEL reports several, other Millennial demographic indicators: Millennials love personal branding and are never far from connectivity.  They look for a "work/life balance" lifestyle and are very involved in social media to provide civic, political and social identity. Review this Millennial comment regarding advertising impact:
"The most convincing advertising of all is seeing your own friends buying, wearing and using the product.  We engage with our peers through social media, I've bought countless items because of what I've seen on Instagram alone."
How to market homes to a Millennial audience? Take a look at a new way to integration traditional marketing copy and images with social media content -- CPS' Social Media Wall.  Put your social media Tweets and posts to work to help create the civic and social identity needed for your aspirational buyer!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Fostering Brand Loyalty During Peak Season

Every industry, every business has a peak season: we're just about to enter retail's peak shopping time.  And, most of us can probably offer a few events from prior years that didn't exactly foster brand loyalty: long lines, no product, not enough assistance, grumpy employees ... the list might go on.

A recent Global Technology Systems article offers an interesting "twist" on how you might think about your upcoming peak season.  And, it doesn't need to be holiday shopping, either. Home builders see a spike in sales office visits and purchases in the Spring.  Home improvement stores see their peak after the beginning of the year as we all make resolutions! Everyone has a busy season, in other words.

Checkout needs to be efficient and perceived as fair
Back to opportunity: peak season brings in many people who are new to your brand.  What a perfect time to create a positive customer experience that can help foster brand loyalty and convert today's shopper into tomorrow's repeat customer.

How?  Take a look at several opportunities to enhance your customer's experience: 

  • Create the optimum atmosphere -- Shoppers have more options than ever before -- set your brand apart by providing a positive on-location experience.  Make sure your consumer-facing employees have a consistent and upbeat greeting message, equip your locations with technology to enhance operations, make sure your employees know how to maximize technology use. 
  • Don't make your customers wait -- Previous blogs noted that a sale is made up of a series of events -- the initial messaging, the store experience and the checkout.  It isn't complete until payment, in other words.  You can have a great shopping experience; if checkout is poor, your customer perceives the entire transaction as poor.  And, they're not shy about posting that sort of perception online.  Put technology, such as CPS' automated line management system, QuikLine, to work to not only expedite the process but to create an atmosphere of fairness, efficiency and customer-focused service.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Design Is About Solving Problems . . .

"not just wrapping cool tech in pretty," continues Bobby Goodlatte.

Bobby Goodlatte is writing regarding Ogo Technology - a super interesting company trying to take Segway-style technology and applying it to create a new generation "wheelchair"  -- and you really need to take a look at it to understand the quotes! They realized the Segway's unique technology and re-directed the features towards a community wanting the freedom, flexibility and ease-of-use offered by a redesigned platform.
Embrey Mill -- highlighting lifestyle

Here at CPS, we like to think our interactive touchscreen system, SalesTouch, takes the same approach to utilizing creative, engaging and meaningful design while satisfying the information needs and usability requirements necessary to support a wide-range of new home shoppers.

Take a look at several of our projects: do you know what to expect when an item is selected? Does the design make your curious about what is behind the button? Can we start the interaction?
Harbour Isle -- focus on multigenerational living

Compare the presentations to a brochure; do you see how easy it is to find desired information? Do your appreciate being able to learn about surrounding neighborhood amenities?

Interactive touchscreen systems have evolved over the last 5 years.  Initially, it was all about the technology.  Today, successful deployment of interactive digital signage is based upon creating emotional connections between the business and consumer -- and satisfying the consumer's need for emotionally-oriented stories and information.

Interested in learning how you can add design and storytelling to your sales office experience? Contact CPS for details.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Celebrating Veterans Day 2015

It's become a CPS tradition to recognize Veterans Day by thanking CPS family members and colleagues for their service to our country.  Of course, this special "shout out" is just a part of the nation's recognition of service and sacrifice by our service members.

Navy Veteran in parade: served in Korea and Vietnam
And, we usually attend a Veterans Day Parade here in the local Sacramento area -- you can enjoy this community-wide celebration by viewing some of the photos.  Many don't realize several Sacramento facts: we actually have 4 seasons (the leaves are changing!) and the area played a large role in the California Gold Rush.

Please join us in thanking:

Bob Strickland, one of CPS' founders: US Air Force

Bob's father: Robert Musa (US Marines, retired)
Chris and Dave's father:  Michael Lott (US Navy, retired)
Michele's father: Robert DuBois (US Air Force)
Michelle's husband: Jerry Stone (US Navy)
Sean's father: Chris Miyazaki (US Air Force, retired)
Troy's brother: John (US Air Force)
Zoe's father: Charles Miller and brother, Wilson Miller (US Army)

Sit back and enjoy these Veterans Day 2015 Parade photos: join the youth organizations, adult service clubs, school bands, and residents as they honor veterans for their service.

Tomorrow's US Navy!
Service is part of our history
Girls Scouts join in!